WHO celebrates 10 year anniversary of VVM implementation
Vaccine vial monitors were introduced in 1996, and it has been 10 years of successful implementation. Today, all vaccines (with a couple of exceptions) come with VVMs through UN procuremenmt agencies. There is also a 20-year development history behind this successful implementation. In order to mark the 10 years of successful implementation of VVMs and acknowledge the efforts put into this device by individuals, organizations, institutions and manufacturers, a celebration event took place in Geneva on 3 May 2007.
With the event, WHO and UNICEF announced a new policy statement focusing on the future of VVM, urging member states to include VVMs in all tender documents as well as urging donors to adopt a donation policy for inclusion of VVMs in all vaccine donations.
The event brought together more than 100 representatives from diplomatic missions, countries, vaccine manufacturers, public sector agencies, donors and individuals. The celebration event was chaired by Ms Daisy Mafubelu, Assistant Director-General, Family and Community Health. Following the opening remarks by Ms Mafubelu, "Five Senses" video was shown which was shot in Viet Nam, Niger and Indonesia early this year. The film focused on how VVM helps countries to reach more children by simply relying on the effective use of VVMs (directed by Umit Kivanc). Following the movie four speakers gave a brief history of VVMs: Debbie Kristensen from PATH focused on the problem definition that emerged VVM development (1979-1989); Ted Prusik from Temptime Corporation talked on the solution, the VVM; Dario Cresci from Novartis brought the industry response in implementing VVMs and how the challenges were handled in applying the monitor on vials; and Mercy Ahun from GAVI talked on the field benefits. To acknowledge the efforts put into this tool, WHO distributed recognition certificates to countries, organizations, agencies, and individuals for their contribution to development and early implementation of VVMs.
A photo exhibition by Ümit Kartoğlu, Jean-Marc Giboux, Philippe Blanc and Gencer Yurttas was opened in the main entrance of the main building from 3-9 May 2007.
A photo essay showing how VVM works and how it is helping to increase the effectiveness and coverage of national immunization programmes is prepared and can be seen from the following link: